Yesterday I had a field day and from now until Friday I'm in the Sacramento area for training and meetings. The training is fun since I'm in charge of the class. It's an enjoyable class to teach. We have about 40 students coming and it will feel like old home week when I get to class. About half of these people are people I've worked with over the last 20 years. It will be nice to catch up with everyone and see what they are all doing with themselves.
I'm in the work truck which is fully packed with several weeks worth of clothes and food, enough fuel to go 600 miles, and enough tools and gear to get me back home or anywhere else I need to be. Fortunately for me, I have the ability to drive down any road and for the most part not worry about safety - for the most part, so I stay well armed. People are usually happy to see me.
There was one time, last September or October, that I was out on an incident and had one of the people who I supervise with me. We were way off the incident because we wanted to check something out. He was navigating, I was driving. We couldn't really get lost, there were mountains to one side and desert on the other. We were trying to get up a canyon but, although he had been there just the week before, couldn't remember which canyon or how to get there. So we drove really bad 4 wheel drive - low gear dirt roads. How are we going to justify this if something happens to MY truck? I'm the responsible one, perhaps I should have turned on the GPS to at least try to point us in the right direction? We had coordinates that I could have punched in. I could have pulled up the quad map on my computer. But no, he was directing. So I took my truck on what looked like a two track road. Then it turned into bits of a wash. Then nothing but sage brush that I had to just drive over. One of the canyons we went up brought us into a very desolate area. Crazy survivalists (as compared to sensible survivalists like me) were probably lurking behind each yucca. I don't think they'd appreciate hearing "we are from the government and we're here to help." No, we were going to get into a predicament. I drove past this one compound and then found a place to turn around. When I started down the hill there stood a very tanned, half dressed man waiting for us.
My partner started to panic. "Just sit there and shut up", I told him. I'll talk to him...you sound too smart (my employee is an ex-college professor). I stopped the truck and just started jabbering away. I told him the truth about who we were and what we were doing. I also told him we were lost. To my pleasant surprise, he gave us directions over to the canyon two ridges over. That's where we needed to be. And away we went.
OK, today I went to Ikea. Brought the work truck and figured someone would accost me with why am I driving that truck to Ikea? Because I didn't want to sit in a hotel room and do nothing? While at Ikea I found a couple of items that just called out for me to buy. They have really good prices on tea candles but it's so hot out that I didn't buy any. I didn't want them to turn into a paraffin glob. They did have some solar lights on a string. These were fun looking, about 20 lights all strung together and each light was covered by a colorful little plastic balloon. It will be great for some fun decoration in the back yard. I bought two strands. The little solar panel charges up the AA battery, which then powers the lights when you turn on the switch.
I have about a dozen individual solar lights that line the walkway in front of the house. Those could be used in bedrooms and a handful could be put into a container and set on the dining room table. These strings of lights could be used to light up the kitchen, hallway, or any area where more light was needed. They could even be bunched together to have an extra bright light to be able to easily read by.
They also have kitchen utensils. I like to stock up on wood spoons (3 for $1.00) and today I also bought 3 plastic utensils that will not melt in up to 450 degrees (not a real hot pan, but good enough for cooking eggs), costing 99 cents for the three.
They had some really heavy duty school backpacks for the grand kids for $14 each. I have a bug-out plastic bin filled with things for the grand kids. Now, they will each have a real bug-out bag that they will be able to help me fill. I know the first thing Girl will put in hers. A whistle. She loves whistles.
And now, I'm back at the hotel. Tomorrow will come soon enough.